Spanish Rescue NGO Ends Migrant Missions Off Libya

Friday, 31 August, 2018 - 09:45
Barcelona (Spain) - Asharq Al-Awsat

A Spanish NGO Thursday said it will halt its migrant rescue missions off Libya to support operations in Spain.

Following a rise in migrant arrivals on the Spanish coast, Proactiva Open Arms said it will join rescue operations carried out by the Spanish coastguard in the Strait of Gibraltar and the Sea of Alboran, which separate Morocco from the EU member state.

It will begin work in Spain in the next few weeks and stay "as long as migratory pressure lasts," it said in a statement.

"The intense campaigns of criminalization of NGOs in the central Mediterranean and the launch of inhuman policies have caused not only the closure of Italian and Maltese ports, but the paralysis of many humanitarian relief organisations, at the same time as a rise in the number of migrants arriving near the south of Spain," the NGO said in a statement.

Proactiva Open Arms has been forced to land migrants rescued off Libya three times in Spanish ports.

Nearly 28,000 illegal migrants have arrived on makeshift boats on the Spanish coast since January, close to the total number of arrivals for all of 2017 on both land and sea, according to the International Organisation for Migration.

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